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Cancer risk factors

Certain risk factors can increase a person's chance of getting cancer.

In general it is not possible to know exactly why one person suffers from cancer and another does not, but research has indicated that certain risk factors may increase a person's chance of getting it.
Most risk factors are initially identified in epidemiological studies where scientists see large groups of people and compare those with cancer with those who do not. These studies may show that individuals with cancer are more or less likely to behave in a certain way or to have been exposed to certain substances, in contrast to those who do not.


Next, some known or suspected risk factors.

-Drinking ALCOHOL may increase the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, larynx, liver and breast.
-Certain INFECTIVE GERMS, including viruses, bacteria and parasites.
- Over time, CHRONIC INFLAMMATION can cause DNA damage and lead to cancer. For example, chronic inflammatory diseases of the intestine.
-UV RADIATION causes damage and premature aging of the skin that can result in cancer.
-IONIZING RADIATION (radon, X-rays, gamma rays, etc.) has enough energy to damage DNA and cause cancer.
- Many experts recommend GENETIC tests to assess the risk of cancer when a person has a family or individual history that could predispose him.
-Tobacco is the leading cause of cancer and death from this factor. People who use tobacco products or who tend to be exposed to their smoke have a higher risk of cancer, since it has many chemical compounds that damage DNA.

For the Institute of Interventional Oncology (IDOI Mexico) it is important to remember that limiting exposure to risk factors, having a balanced diet, physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of certain cancers.